I know that's a fairly long name for a food but let each word sink in and imagine the combination of the flavours. Delicious, isn't it?
This lemongrass ginger chicken soup with turmeric rice noodles is a famous dish in northern Malaysia, my home country. There it's called "Bihun sup utara".
It's not just another chicken noodle soup, trust me. The herbs and spices really makes the soup extra special, you'd want to have this everyday in this cold weather.
Texture and flavour - Light chicken rice noodle soup that's infused with spices and herbs like cinnamon, coriander, lemongrass, cilantro and blend together so amazingly. The condiments complete the whole dish. Refreshing, hot bowl of goodness.
Size - Enough for 4.
Level - Easy, but I do recommend do the prepping first before starting to cook. Makes it even way easier.
Occasion - Anytime of the year, that's how we have it in Malaysia. Even better when it's cold outside, cloudy and raining.. this is like a cosy warm blanket hugging your soul.
Lets Talk Ingredients
Rice vermicelli noodles - They're not the same as pad Thai rice noodles. These are cylinder and very thin. You can, of course, use any other rice noodles. I don't recommend egg noodles as they're thicker and with stronger taste.
Chicken stock - Use the best you can find. It's up to you, you can use store-bought one (I did in this recipe) or if not, I have a recipe for you to make homemade chicken stock.
SUBSTITUTE: Use same amount of water and 2 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder.
Chicken - I'm all about chicken thighs because they are more flavourful and they don't get dry easily. You can use chicken breast, of course.
Gauze - To make spices pouch and contain them so we don't need to look for them one by one and throw them, before serving our soup.
SUBSTITUTE: Cheese cloth or tea bag.
Soy sauce - I always use less salt soy sauce as it gives more flavour without the extra saltiness. Use half amount if you're using the normal soy sauce.
What Makes This Soup Special?
The combination of flavours coming from the spices and herbs that just lightly infused into the soup, is what's making this soup different from the other soups. Although mild but they really bring a chicken soup to another level.
Don't be scared looking at the spices, your soup won't taste like a curry. I promise.
And let's not forget how unique and beautiful the yellow rice noodles look! Naturally coloured with turmeric and it's super easy to make!
The Important Condiments
The condiments are another part of this dish that are important. Try not to skip any of them as every flavour and texture matters.
When you mix all the condiments in a bowl together with your soup and noodles, ahhh that's when the magic happens.
Watch How To Make It
Lemongrass ginger chicken soup with turmeric rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 clove
- 1 cardamom
- ½ handful cilantro leaves with stems (10 g)
Turmeric Rice Noodles
- 5 oz dry rice vermicelli noodles (140 g)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder , add more if you want the noodles more yellow
- 1 small red onion , thinly sliced
- 1 lemongrass , bruised
- 2 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 inch ginger , chopped
- 4 cup chicken stock (1 liter)
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken thigh , sliced into thin strips
- 3 tablespoon less salt soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- cracks of black pepper
- some spring onion , chopped
- some crispy fried onion
- wedges of lime
- cilantro leaves
- sambal or sriracha
- sesame oil
- Fold a gauze into a small square and put all the seeds on the center. Mash the rest of spices into small pieces and pour on top with the rest of the seeds.
- Bring all ends to the center, making a pouch and tie it tightly with a kitchen string. Set aside.
- Fold cilantro leaves stems and all, into 2, and tie them tightly in the middle with a kitchen string. Set aside.
Turmeric Rice Noodles
- Soak the noodles in water for a few minutes until they're pliable, not more. Meanwhile prepare a pot with hot water and mix in the turmeric. Place the noodles in and gently stir.
- Don't overcook them because then they'll be too soft when we serve them with our hot soup later. Just undercook them a bit. Rinse under cold water, drain well and place on a plate. Set aside.
- Heat some oil in a pot and sautee onion and lemongrass for a few minutes. Add in ginger and garlic, continue cooking until they're golden brown.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients together with the spices pouch and cilantro bouquet, stir, bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. For a clearer soup, skim off the foam on the surface.
- Place some noodles in a bowl. Pour in the soup together with some chicken pieces. Add in the condiments. Mix everything before having your first spoon of goodness. Enjoy!